ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Wah Wah Pedals: Guitar Emotions

Updated on June 8, 2013

What is a Wah Wah Pedal?

For the unitiated, a wah wah pedal is a musical accessory for the guitar and it can create some great tonal effects for a variety of styles - blues, metal,soul, funk, country, surf etc.

The wah wah pedal is as versatile as your imagination will allow and has been used by many well known guitarists since it's invention in the mid 1960s, including greats Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton.

So what is it? Well basically it's just large footsize pedal attached via an electric cable to a guitar, which, when stepped on gives you a waaaah sound.When you step down it makes an open wah and when you heel it, ie; bring your toe up, you get something like a woo sound. From this you can do long sweeping counts, short foot taps in time with the music, neck bends and a whole lot more and it's great fun to experiment, creating your own original embellishents. Plus a wah wah pedal adds emotion - it's like the sound of feelings coming right through your guitar.

Contemporary Vox Wah Wah
Contemporary Vox Wah Wah

Vox Wah Wah

The wah wah was invented by a guy called Brad Plunkett, who at the time, in the mid sixties was working for the Warick Electronics Thomas Organ Company.

The company had bought out Vox and was working on a redesign of the Vox Super Beatle guitar amplifier and while playing around with tone control, Plunkett accidentally stumbled on the wah wah sound, while attempting to emulate a trumpet. Legend has it those nearby raced into the studio to see where that great sound was coming from - among them was engineer Del Casher, who was the first to suggest the sound travel through a pedal rather then the circuit and in 1967 Del composed and released the first record to feature a wah wah pedal.

The effect was commercially marketed by Vox in 1966 and named the Vox wahwah and Thomas Organ, who gave it the name Cry baby, since it sounded like a baby's penetrating wail.

Vox V845 Wah Wah pedal is a contemporary version of the original wah wah pedal and has been based on the original specs of that first sixties version. As a battery saver, the V845 is fitted with an AC adapter. The original Vox wahwah was a big seller in the 60s and has featured on some of the most iconic album recordings of the era.

Ga Ga over Wah Wah

Musicians of the sixties embraced the wah wah sound as it opened up a whole new avenue for expression - in fact it's hard to imagine that decade without wah wah.Guitarist's could create their own mood and emotion and thus develop their own style further.

Unlike a guitar's regular tone control, the wah wah pedal has an active circuitry that emphasises the highs at one end and the lows at the other. One you get the hang of the pedal you can experiment with a host of different effects, combining them to emulate the sounds of great guitarist's or creating your own original sounds, as Jeff Beck did with his wah wah riffs in I aint Superstitious, where the guitar actually seems to talk.

Dunlop original Cry Baby
Dunlop original Cry Baby

Dunlop Cry Baby

The Cry Baby is legendary and is the best selling wah wah pedal of all time and in the 60s was favoured by greats like Hendrix, Clapton, Dave Gimour and many other top guitarists.

Dunlop copied it early, from the original Thomas Organ Cry Baby Wah Wah pedal, as that company had somehow failed to register the name as a trademark.

In addition to its historical cred and 100K ohm Hot Potz potentiometer, the Cry Baby is really a solidly constructed pedal made form heavy die cast , so it should see you through for years. The ECB-003 AC adapter is an optional extra. It also comes with a 12 month gaurantee.

Though it make lack some of the bells and whistles of rival wah wahs, this pedal offers the traditional wah wah sound for that authentic 60s feel and vibe - sounds great.

Vintage Wah Wah Pedals

In recent years Wah Wah pedals have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity and many enthusiastic musicians search out older models, which have unique effects and sounds. A vintage Wah Wah can help recreate the particular sound of of a band or era.

For those interested, Guitar Player magazine has a comprehensive review of:

21 Distortion Pedals

Del Casher

Comments

Submit a Comment

No comments yet.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)